Parking rate and fine review
This project is now complete. Recommendations by the Environment, Infrastructure and Transportation Policies Committee to adjust parking rates and fines were approved by City Council on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016 following consultation with stakeholders and the public.
Approved recommendations and implementation
- March 2017: Monthly permit rates in the Chown and Hanson garages, Frontenac County Courthouse and Gorsline lots and Area A Commuter permits will each be adjusted to the next higher rate category.
- June 2017: Hourly parking rates in certain Institutional Areas (Queen's/KGH/Frontenac County Courthouse) will increase to $2.00 per hour.
- September 2017: Event rates will increase by $1.00 in the closest lots to the Rogers K-Rock Centre. This will be off-set by the discontinuance of charging event rates on Sundays.
- 2018: Parking meter-related fines will increase by $5.00 or $10.00, depending on the violation.
- 2019: On-street hourly rates in the Downtown and Williamsville area won't increase until 2019, when high demand zones will go to $2.00 per hour and lower demand zones and parking lots will go to $1.50. Evening on-street parking will remain at no charge, after 5:30 p.m.
The City's parking system is financially self-supporting with revenues generated from user fees and fines covering the costs to deliver the service. Therefore, City taxpayers are not subsidizing Kingston's parking system.
Net operating revenues are contributed to a separate parking reserve fund on an annual basis, which pays for daily operations, facility and equipment maintenance and upgrades, as well as the development of new parking supply. The City engaged BA Group consulting engineers to assist with a parking rate and fine review to ensure the long term health of the parking reserve fund.
BA Group's analysis found that if no changes are made to parking rates or fines, the parking reserve fund will go into a deficit position in the year 2022. This deficit will increase to $35 million in 2030.
After initial public and stakeholder consultation, the City and its consultant developed a framework for establishing and maintaining parking rates and fines and have identified three scenarios for parking-pricing adjustments.
All three scenarios include:
- continuing monthly permit increases as per the existing policy.
- increasing on- and off-street rates in the Queen's/KGH/courthouse area in fall 2017.
- increasing parking meter-related fines in 2018.
- future rate increases every 5 years to maintain the long term health of the reserve fund.
Public and stakeholder consultation confirms that downtown businesses and employers are very sensitive to parking price increases and the impact of past and upcoming construction activity on downtown businesses. To address these concerns, in addition to the pricing changes listed above, the consultant has developed 3 scenarios for pricing increases in the downtown area.
Each scenario supports these parking management principles:
- Parking rates are used to promote the City's Transportation Master Plan and Transportation Demand Management (TDM) objectives by coordinating with transit fares, as per previous policy established (Environment, infrastructure & transportation policies committee Report 13-004).
- Short-term parking is protected in support of high-demand areas, including the downtown business area and Kingston General Hospital/ Queen's University area.
- Longer-stay parking spaces for commuters are provided on the periphery, further from areas of high parking demand.
- Pricing and maximum-stay limits are used to encourage shorter duration/higher turnover parking in high-demand areas. This encourages motorists to walk a little to save a little.
- Existing parking supply is optimized to defer the development of new supply.
- Parking fines are kept at a level that encourages compliance versus having motorists use/view the fine as the fee.